AMES — Iowa State’s Ashley Joens was isolated at the top of the key. Her teammates were spread out on the wings and in the corners.
Joens drove on Oklahoma’s defense and spun in the lane. Her defender tried to draw the charge but there was no call from the referee and no extra defender in front of Joens, who made the layup to put No. 24 Iowa State up by one point with 10.2 seconds left.
“I really enjoy having the ball in those situations,” Joens said. “Every kid dreams about being put in those situations and positions with the ball at the end of the game. And to be able to make those big shots and to contribute like that to this team, it means a lot.”
Iowa State’s defense held strong on the ensuing Oklahoma possession and the game ended fittingly — with a Joens rebound.
Iowa State beat Oklahoma 64-63 thanks to another great game from Joens who had 32 points and 16 rebounds — including Iowa State’s final four points, all within the last 30 seconds of the game.
“We ran a couple of plays for her at the end of the game and we just told her, ‘Get your head down and get into the lane,’” Iowa State coach Bill Fennelly said. “And Ashley has usually made good decisions at that time. Oklahoma didn’t leave the shooters and they didn’t double early. You just want to give her a chance.
“You tell the other players, ‘If Ashley gets a good look, everyone go offensive rebound.’ That shot at the end, and then we had to guard hard at the end — we did both of those things.”
To add to Joens’ remarkable end-of-game performance, she also drew the charge with 21 seconds left to give Iowa State the ball and the opportunity at the end of the game to even have a chance at winning.
“We were just trying to get a steal or get the ball in any way possible,” Joens said. “I wasn’t really looking to take a charge but it just happened that way.”
Joens had a career game for most players in just the first half, scoring 21 points on 9-of-11 shooting and grabbing eight rebounds. Her shooting cooled off in the second half (4 of 14) but she made her shots when her team needed her.
Over her last three games, Joens is averaging 29.7 points and 14.3 rebounds.
Iowa State (10-4, 6-1 Big 12) had a hard time finding reliable offense beyond Joens. Most nights Lexi Donarski or Kristin Scott are able to step up but both were neutralized against the Sooners (4-6, 1-4).
Scott shot just one field goal in 24 minutes and Donarski only made 4 of 15 shots before fouling out.
Besides Joens, Iowa State shot just 12-37 from the field.
“Oklahoma out-played us, out-coached us and we were lucky to win,” Fennelly said. “We didn’t play at all like we needed to play. Ashley was great and everyone else struggled.
“The only thing that saved us was the fact we defended enough and made plays down the stretch. I thought our execution at the end of the game was really, really good. Obviously I did a really poor job of getting them ready to go and we have to get that fixed.”
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